SEATTLE, WA (BRAIN)—Family-owned retailer Gregg’s Cycles returns to its roots with a 1930s-themed 80th anniversary celebration.
Originally Gregg’s Greenlake Cycle, the shop started out as a bike rental store during the Great Depression. Founder R.V. Gregg was struggling as a wheat farmer in Canada when he decided to bring his wife and six children to the States to open a shop.
Over the years, Gregg’s has kept the business in the family. “We had the benefit of being in close proximity to many universities, so all the kids worked there when going to school,” said Stan Gregg, current and third-generation owner. In fact, that was how Stan, 66, started out himself.
In 1974, Stan received a call from his Uncle Mike, asking him to buy the business.
“I was working as an attorney at the time and thought I’d be in the business for maybe five years,” he recalls. Now 37 years later, Gregg has expanded the shop to locations in Bellevue and Alderwood, Washington, and has kept the family name in Bicycle Retailer’s Top 100 for 28 consecutive years. “It’s a really positive business to be involved in,” said Gregg.
Gregg’s has weathered property issues, rent hikes and small spaces, but continues to carry on. “2006 to 2007 was a major implementation time for our company’s future,” said Gregg. “I decided to invest instead of letting the store simply get by with adequate facilities, or worse, close down.”
Gregg now proudly owns both the Greenlake and Bellevue stores outright, and received an architectural award for his “innovative store design with challenging circumstances” at the Bellevue location.
To commemorate the anniversary, Gregg’s will combine a four-day sale with a Depression-era carnival on July 21, complete with rental bikes at five cents an hour, hot dog stands, entertainment and carriage rides around Greenlake Park. In the evening, there will be a catered reception for all past managerial employees and supporters in the industry.